FOR ABOUT 10 minutes, "A Guy Thing" looks as if it might be an entertaining -- or make that, redeemably entertaining -- romantic comedy. Not that it would take much to rise above the national average.
For starters, it has Jason Lee and Julia Stiles in the lineup. Also Shawn Hatosy, one of the most underrated twenty-something performers around. Three good actors to have in any lighthearted movie. And the writer is Greg Glienna, who also scripted "Meet the Parents."
As I said, for about 10 minutes, it works.
On the eve of his wedding to Karen (Selma Blair), an obviously unsuited spouse, Paul Morse (Lee) partakes in the traditional bachelor party. Three scantily dressed women in Hawaiian skirts do their flirtatious business. Paul stays out of danger. He thinks.
Until he wakes up the next morning next to one of those dancers (Stiles). His future mother-in-law calls. Karen's on the way. The trouble begins.
The extent to which "A Guy Thing" is at all fun and amusing is thanks to Lee and Stiles, who do make an interesting pair. Lee can be wonderfully tortured. Stiles is a very likable presence. And Hatosy, as Paul's best man, has his moments. He really needs to be somewhere else, though. In a good movie, for instance.
The rest of the plot includes situations that look ineptly borrowed from "Meet the Parents." You have to wonder if "A Guy Thing" was one of Glienna's earlier scripts that, after "Parents" did well, he got to make.
Evidently, Glienna and director Chris Koch (the genius who helmed "Snow Day") decide, early on, it's not enough to rely on characters and intriguing situation comedy. Forget about wit -- that's for the Brits. It's just too darned subtle and would force the 13- through 19-year-old set to concentrate too hard and, like, fidget. Give us jokes about diarrhea! That's what everyone wants. Or do they? Check the Monday morning box office returns to find out.
A GUY THING (PG-13, 101 minutes) -- Contains obscenity, crude humor, sexual content and drug references. Area theaters.